What is an EDM (Sinker) Used for?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


Sometimes it can get a little confusing on all the machines used in manufacturing. EDM or Sinker is an Electrical discharge machine, which is also known as a spark machine. The sinker allows machinists to use a wide variety of shapes and sizes including hexes, keyways, squares, and thin walls for the manufacturing of parts and products.

The EDM Process in Manufacturing

Electrical discharge comes from the wire or electrode that will erode the material into the required part you’re trying to produce. Electrical discharge machining overcomes the hardness issue found in contact machining, which means it can cut hardened materials and exotic alloys while delivering an excellent surface finish on the part.

The Benefits of Using an EDM Sinker:

An EDM (Sinker) has a very specific role in the machining process. There are plenty of high-speed mills that have improved on process. Where EDM has the advantage is that it comes in handy when it comes to inside corners or very deep, thin ribs. The EDM process is helpful with smaller feature sizes and higher accuracy requirements.

Uses for EDM:

  • Makes production parts for the aerospace, automotive, and electronics industries
  • Used by mold-making, tool, and die industries
  • Small hole drilling
  • Creation of dies for producing jewelry and badges, blanking and piercing by coinage process

EDM can produce complex shapes that are difficult to be produce by other cutting tools. This machine has an advantage over other machining mills because it gets the very small parts produced perfectly. It has the ability to obtain a good surface finish.

Will I Need to Use an EDM for My Application?

The thing to know about EDM is that it’s slower than other machining methods, but it is more predictable, accurate, and repeatable. You don’t have to watch over an EDM process, which means the direct labor rate and the cost are lower than other machining methods. If you have a small business with a steady production, EDM might be the choice for you. If you have a demanding need for production on different parts, then EDM could be the wrong move.

The aerospace and medical device industries benefit most from EDM because of the low-volume operation and tight tolerances.Also, you should make sure the material you’re looking to cut is meant to be used with the EDM.

Bronze, Copper, Tungsten, Carbon Graphite, Carbon Steel, High Alloy, Inconel, Stainless Steel, Hastelloy, Titanium, and Kovar are conductive materials for EDM. These metal materials can be used effectively with EDM by cutting small, odd-shaped angles and detailed contours or cavities in the hardened metal.

Why Choose Lowrance Machine Shop for EDM?

At Lowrance Machine Shop, we have been machining and manufacturing parts for a plethora of industries over the past 50 years. A family-owned business that has gained recognition as a leader in manufacturing molds and machined products specially made to meet a client’s requirements, Lowrance Machine Shop has the capabilities to help you with any of your manufacturing needs. We pursue the latest technologies and machine processing techniques.

Our EDM (Sinker) consists of a C-Axis 10/20 RPM with a 7 Position Tool Changer Combi System and 3R Tooling. If you’re in need of fine cutting of metals that regular machining cannot handle, contact Lowrance Machine Shop for their EDM (Sinker) capabilities at 281-449-6524 today for more information on how we can help your business and manufacturing needs.